They always maintained their connection with Decorah. When they became THE GRANT FAMILY SINGERS they appeared in Decorah while on their visits.

On 13 Oct 1974 their home was ravaged by fire causing Wally’s death from smoke and gas inhalation. Sylvia lived but never recovered and after 3 years of illness she succumbed on 11 Dec 1977 at Osawatomie, KS. Both are buried in Phelps Cemetery, Decorah.

Graves, Knut and Jane (Thune)

(Mrs. Spencer Graves)

Knut Graves was the son of Ole and Barbra Graves. He was born on board the ship Hebe bound for Quebec, Canada as the family emgrated to the United States in 1856. He married Jane Christine Thune 13 May 1884. Knut farmed with his father in Glenwood Twp. After his father died he purchased the farm from the heirs and lived on the farm for the rest of his life.

Knut and Jane were the parents of 7 children - all born in Glenwood Twp. Lawrence Abner was born 12 May 1885. He moved to Bowman, ND where he was living in 1968. He died 1 Apr 1974. Beulah Victoria was born 15 Mar 1887. She married Lyman Netteberg and was living in Sioux Falls, SD in 1968. She died 7 Sep 1978. Oscar Thurman was born 6 Apr 1889. He was living in Bowman, ND in 1968. Sylvan Horatio was born 31 May 1892. He married Martha Rosendahl. He died 1 Jun 1977 in Decorah, IA. Melvin Ivan Cornelius was born 11 Jun 1895. He married Beatrice Lien 6 Nov 1935 at Springfield Lutheran parsonage. He died 14 Aug 1968 in Decorah. Kenniston Raymond was born 21 Mar 1898. He died 17 Apr 1983. Jessie Willard was born 28 Apr 1901. He died 25 Apr 1902. His funeral service was held at the Norwegian Methodist Church, Washington Prairie, Springfield Twp. He was buried beside his Grandpa Ole Graves.

Knut and Jane and Jane's brother Alfred Oscar Thune and his wife Mary were the last survivors of the Norwegian Methodist Church. Holver Garden was the minister in 1902. Sylvan and his wife bought the homestead farm from the heirs.

Knut and Jane are buried at the Norwegian Methodist Church Cemetery in Springfield Twp.

Graves, Ole and Barbra (Meringen) (Helleve)

(Mrs. Spencer Graves)

Ole Olsen Leidal Graue (Graves) was born in 1811 at Voss, Vangen, Norway to Ole Ellefson Leidal and Kari Olsdtr Askelberg. Barbra was born on the farm of Meringen 23 Aug 1819 to Lars Tverberg and Ingebjorg (Torleivsdtr) Graue. Ole and Barbra were married 24 Oct 1843. They were surely baptized, confirmed and married in the old church at Voss. It was 800 years old in 1977.

Ole and Barbra first lived on the farm of Graue, but emigrated to the U.S. in 1856. They sailed on the ship Hebe bound to Quinton Harbor, Quebec, Canada. Along with them were Ole's sister Martha and 4 of Ole and Barbra’s children: Lars, Ole, Bennie and Emma. Knut was born on the ship. So they landed with a family of 5.

They were very poor people with no money. First they

came to Springfield Twp., Winneshiek Co., lAto stay with their relatives, the Johnsons. The Johnsons were cousins to Ole and Barbra’s family. This Johnson place later became the Storla farm.

Next they found a place to live on the Tormod Aae farm. The house was part dugout and part log near a spring. It was probably built by Tormod Aae as his first shelter until he got his log house built. It was a good home for Ole and his family while they looked for a homestead. Oscar Thurman Graves told this story about his brother Knut: “One day Knut went to the spring for water and there was a bear at the spring having a drink. Oscar writes ‘Now, guess who moved first?”’

Tormod Aae told how poor Ole and Barbra were at one time. He gave them a sack of flour so they could eat! Tormod Aae was the father of Avan Aae who changed his name to Avan Tormod Holton. A. T. Holton became the owner of the farm. Tormod lived with his son the rest of his life. (This story included for genealogy purposes). Ole (Graue) Graves filed on an 80 acre homestead 1 1/2 miles north of the A. T. Holton place. He built a log house and cleared the land for farming. Ole owned oxen which were his pulling power. The wheat he raised was hauled to Lansing to be sold, a distance of 30 miles. There was no spring on his acreage so he later bought another 40 acres that had a spring.

The family was Lutheran in Norway, but at this time the Norwegian Methodist Church was being build. They helped with the building and became members of the church. They were so happy to have a church where they could go to worship the Lord with their family. It was 7 miles south of their homestead. This Norwegian Methodist Church was the first church built west of the Mississippi River, in Springfield Twp. Two more sons were born by this time: Martin and Johannes.

Ole O. Graves received his citizen papers 28 Feb 1876. Ole and Barbra had 7 children: Lars, Ole, Bennie, Emma, Knut, Martin and Johannes.

Lars was born in Norway in 1845. He enlisted in the Civil War at the age of 17 at Dubuque, IA. He went through a lot of hardship. He got the yellow fever from which he recovered. He stayed with his pal who had yellow fever and got it again and recovered. He died in the concentration camp at New Orleans 4 Sep 1863 and is buried at New Orleans, LA. (It was about this time that Ole Graue changed his name to Graves.) Ole was born 17 Sep 1847 in Norway. Ole and John Flatland took up homesteads together in Minnehaha Co, SD in 1873. Ole married Julia Ellefson. He died 16 Aug. 1921.

Bennie was born in Norway and died in Sioux Falls, SD. He married Ingeri Ellefson. He was a farmer and did plastering.

Emma was born 24 Jul 1850 in Norway. She married Iver Ellefson. They filed a claim adjoining Ole Graves in Minnehaha Co. in 1874. Iver Ellefson was born 14 Dec 1851 and died 10 Jul 1916. Emma died 14 Jun 1923. Their children were: Eric(14 Apr 1878-24 Dec 1919); Lewis (10 Apr 1880-15 Nov 1961); Belenda (15 May 1882-15 Jul 1882); Ida (30 Mar 1885-10 Jul 1892); Berent (8 Feb 1887-17 Jul 1892); John (13 Jan 1889-15 Jul 1892);

Complete OCR transcription. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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